Archive for the 'The Polytechnic' Category

Employee of the year

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

Wilson Upindi who was one of my students at the time I realised the project “Exterminate all the Brutes 2006” at the Polytechnic in Malawi recently was elected Employee of the Year of the Stanbic Bank, where he works as a GNU/Linux System administrator.

Congratulations, Wilson!

Interview with Christian Imhorst

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007


Christian Imhorst made an interview with me for the online-magazine “Freies Magazin”. The Interview is only available in german Language.

T-shirt printers copy

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

T-shirt After demand I sould like to put the pint master of the shirts on the blog, because there is only a small quantity of shirt that have been printed. Feel free to download the master for the front and the backside of the shirt. CreativeCommons-ShareAlike 3.0 as usual.
P.S. “Anthu Ozindikira amagwirisa ntchito GNU/Linux Software” means “thinking human beeings are using GNU/Linux Software”.

Thin-Client project in article

Friday, March 23rd, 2007

Melissa Draper from the Ubuntu Project recently posted an interesting article about Edubuntu on the portal. In the article the thin-client project, that I realised in 2006 at the Polytechnic, is mentioned.

official recordings of 23C3 online

Monday, January 8th, 2007

23c3 #1638 Snapshot The official 23C3 recordings have been released. The Server is available at We mirrored the server and its available at (http, ftp, rsync). The recording of my talk (#1638) can be found here: #1638 Freie Software – Eine Chance für Afrika? (in german).
I also uploaded the talk in written (german text).

Nathalie Bissig has set up her own Weblog where she releases fotos and drawings of Malawi and of the 23C3.

IT students from the Polytechnic

Friday, December 29th, 2006

One of the reasons that since the end of november 2006, 25 new thinclients are running in the library of the polytechnik, are these 6 students.
Wilson Mpindi, Clara Chirwa, Clarence Gama, Prisca Mvalo, Moses Dossi, Adam

Wilson Upindi Clara Chirwa Clarence Gama Prisca Mvalo Moses Dossi Allan

They helped us from octobre to novembre. With a lot of interesse and know how, they installed the software, buildet up the servers, and seted up the thinclient network. We would like to thank them once more for this collaboration. It was a real pleasure for us.

Wireless Networking at Poly

Wednesday, December 6th, 2006

wireless Yesterday the Systemadministrator Maganizo Monawe came to my office and introduced me to the italian Carlo Fonda of ICTP who is working in the next 10 days at the Polytechnic with a couple of students and lecturers on a “Wireless Networking” Project. After a few italian phrases it was obvious that Carlos group from Trieste work with the same attitude with his project not imposing western ideas in an imperialistic way. As I read on Carlos Wiki-Website in June 2006 there was a training course taking place in Trieste and now the workshop continues in Blantyre to connect the colleges and hospitals around the Polytechnic.

sdnp Carlo was also shocked by the high ISP (Internet Service Provider) prices in Malawi and also about the fact that the VSAT equipment, that was setup by the United Nations Developpment Programme (UNDP) on top of the Polytechnic building is run by Paulus Nyirenda commercially. The Polytechnic pays 3000 US$ monthly to SDNP for the 256 KBit uplink and 512 downlink connection.

Carlo further talked about person of the Wirless community, some of them I know from the Chaos Communication Congress (like etc.). I watched a speech of Elektra Wagenrad at the congress last year about “Wifi Longshots” in Bangladesh. This know-how is also part of the ICTP wireless workshop and is a convenient technology for Africa. A lot of connection cables are digged out of the grounds and find different uses. The wireless technology can bridge big distances (world record 279 km) and cover wide areas. Together with the wireless meshed networking technology it can split many different access points with low bandwidth.


Official thin client handover

Tuesday, December 5th, 2006

handover1 Yesterday afternoon at 4:00 pm central african time (cat) the official handover of the thin clients was taking place at the library of the Polytechnic. The Ceremony was located in the audiovisual where one part of the thin clients (12 pcs) is set up. Because of his tight schedule the vice-chancellor of the University of Malawi did not join the handover. Martin Thawani, the librarian of the Polytechnic opened the ceremony by mentioning with a few words my last stay in 2004 when I worked for 5 month at the Polytechnic and set up the Servers and Network. Martin Thawani praised the Free Software project especially because of its massive success in the fight against Spam, Viruses and scarce bandwith problems in africa. (On the image above you can see the symbolic handover of the book “Free as in Freedom” between Alex Antener on the right an the librarian Martin Thawani on the left). After his talk I added, that we run in the ICT of the University of applied sciences and arts in Zurich all the servers of the students and lecturers on Free Software (GNU/Linux Debian) with a big success. und that the very same thin clients that the ICT is donating to the Polytechnic are used in our administration and that the students and lecturers of the Polytechnic also deserve to use the newest information technology, not having to use the used crappy outdated computer trash that most of the NGOs are donating. The principal Dr. Charles Mataya expressed his thanks and told us about his fistr experiences with Unix in 1981 when he did his PhD. Further he said that the Polytechnic and the University of applied sciences and arts are initiating an intercultural relationship with this project. At the end of the Ceremony the librarian Martin Thawani gave us 2 traditional malawian masks and and a carved africa map to underline his thanks.

handover2 handover3 handover4

In this place I would like to thank cordially my Boss Barbara Berger and her replacement Harry Rauter of the ICT of the University of applied sciences and arts Zurich for their support. Ramon Cahenzli as well as Gino filadoro deserve my warm thanks for their collaboration. To Nathalie Bissig I would like to express my very special thanks for her wonderful pictures which we all apreciate a lot.

official handover

Monday, December 4th, 2006

shirt Today in the afternoon the official handover of the thinclients is going to take place. The principal Dr. Charles Mataya and the librarian Mr. Martin Thawani are going to present the donated thin clients of the University of applied sciences and arts Zurich to the media and are going to talk about the influence of free Software in Malawi.

See the pictures of the t-shirts that we printed for this event. “Anthu Ozindikira amagwirisa ntchito GNU/Linux Software” means “thinking human beeings are using GNU/Linux Software”. 🙂

Thinclient Network finished

Friday, November 24th, 2006

thin1 thin2 thin3

The 2 Thinclient Networks are now properly setup with squid as proxy service and work perfectly. The research and article of Ramon Cahenzli was pretty helpful for the setup, because doing research on the internet in the Polytechnic is very frustrating because of low bandwidth.

The past days we did some stress tests and fine tuning of ltsp, dhcp and squid. The system is pretty fast compared to the old crappy computers of the Polytechnic. We’re now waiting for an order of about 12 TFT screens from South-Africa to be installed with the thinclients. The handover will probably take place next week.